Sept. 3, 2004 -- According to a recent study, Wal-Mart shoppers are more likely to vote for President Bush than Senator John Kerry.
In an online poll of more than 7,500 participants, BIGresearch found that 23.5 percent of Wal-Mart shoppers leaned toward President Bush, with only 16 percent backing John Kerry. The biggest group of Wal-Mart shoppers, making up 25.7 percent, reported they were undecided, however.
The monthly Consumer Intentions and Actions Study is designed to detect consumer habits, but the group began polling for political leanings with the 2003 California gubernatorial race, which it predicted accurately. The study does not focus specifically on shoppers at Wal-Mart, but also includes other major retailers such as JCPenney and Kohl's.
More results of the August study revealed the specific shopping habits of consumers inclined toward one candidate or the other. Among those polled, 12.5 percent of Wal-Mart shoppers who bought prescription drugs said they were more likely to be a Bush supporter, compared to 7.5 percent who said they were a Kerry supporter. Those shopping for home electronics also leaned toward Bush with 22 percent of all Wal-Mart shoppers in the poll, versus 16.5 percent for Kerry.
The largest gap between the candidates' backers was found among those shopping for women's clothing, where 23.5 percent said they were voting for Bush as opposed to 16 percent for Kerry.
"In the past, these studies were geared to help retailers gain insight into consumer spending habits," Joe Pilotta, vice president of research for BIGresearch said. "We decided to add a few political questions in there and the response has been very compelling."
While the report has revealed support for the two candidates among Wal-Mart shoppers, it showed a bigger group remained undecided.
"As the election nears the 'Swing vote' demographic has begun to reveal itself," Pilotta said. "When you combine the typical demographics, age, race and the like with shopping habits, you get a very clear picture of what type of people are voting for what candidate."
The study found that 13 percent of those shopping at Wal-Mart for prescription drugs hadn't made up their minds yet about the presidential election. More than 25 percent of those shopping for women's clothes and 21 percent of those shopping at Wal-Mart for electronics were undecided.
"Everyone is classifying this election as a toss up," Pilotta added. "Our data is showing that to be very accurate."